In the fall of 2008, Rose was enjoying a day of shopping when a handsome associate approached her for assistance. Brian was immediately struck by the beauty of this young West African woman. After a pleasant conversation Brian asked Rose for her phone number, in order to “follow-up” with additional product details. Unfortunately for Brian, Rose was already in a relationship. Undeterred he began a “six month rotational check-in process” of her relationship status. Life took hold and time went by as Rose continued advancing her education and Brian focused on a career change. Until fate reconnected them for an evening of dinner together that would officially start them on the path of happily ever after.
Read all about Rose & Brian’s love story, surprise proposal, and experiences in their beautiful ballroom wedding in Memphis.
Bride & Groom: Rose & Brian
Occupations: Process Improvement Engineer & Sales Executive
Wedding date: 10/28/2017
Wedding location: Balinese Ballroom in Memphis, TN
Tell us how you met. Brian and Rose initially met in late September 2008 at the mall in Knoxville, TN. Brian found the young west African woman attractive, so he began the conversation by trying to sell her one of his newest products. Before she left, Brian asked for her phone number in order to “ follow-up” with additional details, and Rose naively took the bait. Unfortunately, the stars were not aligned in that season because he found out she was already in a relationship when he reached out later that week. Undeterred by the slight hiccup, Brian started a relentless 6 month rotational check-in process with her to get details of her relationship status. After two years, he finally landed a first date with her. The date was amazing, yet neither one of them made the effort to move it forward during that time. Rose was then entering her 4TH year of obtaining her Engineering degree, and Brian was in the midst of a career transition. They both left that initial date hopeful, yet too busy to invest time to develop the relationship any further… You know what they say “What you don’t water, will not grow.” Finally in the Spring of 2012 after several failed relationships, the two connected again for dinner and let’s just say the rest is history. They officially started dating in September of 2012, and 4 years later Brian asked for her hand in marriage on November 20, 2016.
Tell us all about the proposal. It was Brian’s 30th Birthday on November 13, 2016, and he spent almost two weeks celebrating around the country with Rose. His Birthday festivities included a surprise bowling party, a 7 day cruise around the southern Caribbean, and a birthday dinner party with all his friends and family. Brian was adamant about celebrating this milestone birthday the whole month of November and of course Rose was happy to support. On the evening of November 19th at a friend’s-giving dinner, he told her that he wanted to have a “birthday brunch” with his best friend and wife the next day. Although Rose was happy for his enthusiasm in that season, she also expressed her lack of desire to celebrate anymore because she was simply, tired. Brian assured her the brunch wouldn’t take long so she could go home and rest. The next day, the four of them met at Terrace Café (a popular brunch spot in Charlotte, NC) and Rose immediately began to jokingly express her disinterest in being there. Boy was she in for a big surprise…
During the brunch as Rose proceeded to order her meal, she looked up to find her best friend standing at the head of the table. Of course she was shocked to see her best friend who lived 10 hours away there, so she immediately jumped up to hug her! As she spun around to sit back in her seat, Brian was on one knee behind her and asked for her hand in marriage. In the midst of the screams, pictures, tears, and hand claps from other patrons in the restaurant, Rose said YES! Brian still jokes about how Rose almost ruined it by nearly refusing to show up that day.
How did you know they were “the one”? There wasn’t a clear defining moment in the relationship that we knew. The relationship has always felt very natural and fun. We rarely have arguments, and truly enjoy spending time with each other. When you know, you just know!
Describe your wedding style. I would describe our wedding style as “Simplistic Elegance.” I’ve always loved the timeless appeal of black and white décor, so I chose those as my primary colors with accents of Plum and gold. Plum and gold are often associated with royalty, so I chose those colors to give the wedding an element of pizzazz. My dress was an ivory and blush classic mermaid style dress. The bodice had a floral lace overlay, and the bottom of the dress was beautiful layers of shimmery blush toned tulle. And of course I had to have a long dramatic train for the pictures! I helped Brian find his custom tuxedo a few weeks before the wedding. It was 3 pieces which included a detailed ivory and black satin jacket, an ivory vest, and black tuxedo pants with a satin trim. My dress shopping experience was relatively simple. I went to about 4 boutiques before finding “the one.” Once I saw the rose details in the lace bodice, I knew I had to have it! Plus it was under budget, so that was another win for me!
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Brian and I plan on having a second traditional wedding celebration in my hometown of Accra, Ghana in late 2018. Therefore, we didn’t have a lot of Ghanaian elements in our wedding. My father and I did our opening dance to a popular Ghanaian song from the 90’s. Our guests were really entertained seeing my conservative father pull out his traditional African dance moves, and it was a moment I’ll cherish forever. I also carried a small piece of the Kente Cloth that was presented to me by my mother to represent my “Something New.” Kente cloth is often a symbol of good fortune for a newly married couple in the Ghanaian culture.
Wedding Party gifts: Bridesmaids – custom robes and earrings. Groomsmen – custom wallets and socks.
Favorite item on the menu: The Italian Meatballs (we had an untraditional menu).
First dance song: Mix of “Matrimony” by Wale, “All of You” by John legend, and “African Queen” by 2Face.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Wow, I have so many to pick from. The day was a whirlwind for sure, but the part that stood out the most were the wedding party toasts during the reception. They were all so heart felt and included many stories about their experiences with both of us. I’m typically not very emotional, but the floodgates definitely opened during those speeches. I think I wiped of a lot of my makeup at that point of the wedding! Our photographer captured a few “ugly cry” moments that Brian and I still laugh at to this day. Overall, our wedding was so much fun and filled with so much love. We were extremely grateful that so many people came to support us despite the weddings’ short notice. With only a 70 day window to plan our wedding, we couldn’t have asked for a more amazing day!
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Plan your wedding YOUR WAY! Family and friends will openly share their opinions during your process, but you have to stick to what will work best for you two. Although all the feedback usually comes with good intentions, make sure the wedding fits the style and budget you both agree on. The last thing you want is to look back on the day and have regrets. Brian and I decided to move our wedding date up, so we had a 70 day window to plan. Not only that, the wedding was in Memphis, TN which is 10 hours from where we were living in North Carolina. Many people expressed their opinions about the change, but we stuck with the decision and it still worked out beautifully! Also, I would say weddings don’t have to be stressful or take a long time to plan either.
Wedding dress designer: Madison James
Wedding dress salon: Anjolique Bridal and Formal
Bridesmaids dresses: Windsor
Hair/makeup: Nikki Chanel of Facegyrl
Shoes: Macys; Rose – Kate Spade, Brian – Calvin Klein
Ceremony location: Balinese Ballroom
Reception location: Balinese Ballroom
Photography: Incredibly Wee
Wedding planner: It’s Your Day Weddings and Events
Florist: Charese Feliciano Designs
Cake: Cake Designs for all Occasion by Remond Young
Stationery: Swoozies (Charlotte, NC Location)
Event designer: Charese Feliciano Designs
DJ: Rodney Jones/DJ HotRod
Photo booth: Just 4U Digital Imaging
Rentals: Elegant Chair Solutions